“Want to slim down? Start with a better night’s sleep,” ran the headline.
“No way, not with the hours I keep,” was my reaction, but Molly, my Travel Whisperers partner, said, “Read it again, Bill. It’s talking about quality of sleep, not quantity.”
Actually, it was talking about quantity of sleep, with recommendations like
The research clearly shows that if we take a bit more time to sleep, so many things that people want to achieve become possible. Let’s take the losing body fat as an example.
You might need to cut out the late-night talk shows or YouTube clips, and pick up a good book instead.
But Molly has a point. How many people spend a lot of time just getting to sleep or wake up after a couple of hours, unable to get back to sleep? If you could reclaim that time, you would get the health benefits of a better night’s sleep, without changing your schedule.
As the article states, sleep regulates the hormones that help you manage your appetite and feeling satiated or full. A good night’s sleep gives you increased willpower to avoid sugary or fatty foods. Sleep also helps your body convert fat and build muscle. The health effects of tossing and turning in bed or having the events of the day going round and round in your head have also been extensively studied, and they’re not good. But we knew that already, right? The issue is what to do about it.
As Molly says, you can teach your body to relax. You can learn what relaxation actually feels like to you, and develop a simple routine that tells your body it’s time to sleep now. Visualizing a peaceful scene is much more effective than trying NOT to think about what happened today or what might happen tomorrow.
That’s what our free introductory recording, Unwind Your Mind, is all about.
I should listen to Molly more often.
Source: The Globe and Mail, April 15, 2014, Health Advisor – “Want to slim down? Start with a better night’s sleep – Greg Wells